Elements 15: Organizer Places very slow

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  • Updated 3 months ago
  • (Edited)
When I first installed photoshop elements 15 it was perfect for my use (very casual photographer). However, now that I have 26000 photos "Places" has become incredibly slow and I was wondering why this might be.

This is my current set up:
i5-4430 
8.00 GB ram
SSD Smasung 840 120gb (catalog is here)
HD WD Green 1TB (I place the cache on here)



It becomes especially bad when I place some photos/move a some around.

Thank you for your help

Rob
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Robert Ashby

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jack Klaber

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Having the catalog on your SSD should be sufficient to have maximum speed and responsiveness. But having the OS and the catalog on a 120GB SSD seems to leave not much room left on the SSD. If there is less than 10% free space on your SSD then the whole system including PSE will slow down. Also having the cache on your HD and not on your SSD might slow down the system.

I would, as a general note, upgrade your OS SSD to a 240 GB type.

I have my Windows 10 system, cache and PSE catalog (47000 images) on a 480GB SSD and enjoy blazing speed and lightning fast responsiveness. I also have 16GB RAM.
(Edited)
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Ken Britton

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I agree with Jack a 128GB SSD is hardly large enough to run your programs, then adding you photo to this your memory stacks are gasping for air.. 

I run a 480GB SSD with 32GB of ram with an I7 chip on windows 7 and even that is not fast enough for me and am looking to upgrade.

However, I have almost 500,000 photos of very high resolution.

The reality is if you keep adding photos you will find the limits of your computer.

For the average person 26,000 is a lot of photos, obviously depending on whether they are high res JPG or raw files all of which are factors to consider when setting up your computer

Most DSLRs today churn out 11-12MB jpg files and 24-32MB Raw files

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Jack Klaber

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Ken, the size of the PSE Catalog is not so much dependent upon the volume of the images, but almost entirely upon the amount of images. With tags, albums and notes the catalog folder of about 25000 images can easily have a volume of 10GB and more.
As the catalog only holds thumbnails it responsiveness depends on the speed of the storage medium on which the catalog folder resides. If it’s a SSD with at least 10% free space and ample RAM is available then you will enjoy the maximum responsiveness your system can supply.
It should be mentioned that CPU, MoBo and RAM speed also are important, but to a lesser degree.
Powerful i7 CPU and 32GB RAM are important when opening hi-res images in the editor and performing complicated editing and layer operations.
(Edited)
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Donald Dobson

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Previous comments cover the key aspects but may be too much of an upgrade for you. I suggest getting as much off your SSD as possible, clear out all temp files & suchlike, upgrade RAM to 16GB.
(Edited)
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Ken Britton

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Jack, you missed the point I know its the size of my catalogue that slows it down. My SSD currently only has all of my program files and my photo catalogued which is nearly half a million of high to very high res files and that is barely leaving the amount of space Microsoft sets aside for the ram and that's why I will upgrade. I will install a second but larger SSD drive as I believe if I have the catalogue  on a separate SSD dive I can continue to add to it and still get the speed I want
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Jack Klaber

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Sorry Ken, but I think you missed the point.
Robert reported his SSD has 36GB free space and that his catalog is only 1.5 GB. His problem is the PLACES feature which requires PSE to fetch GPS data and display the location of thousands of images on the map. That’s what slowing down his system. I could recproduce his problem (see below) having a very powerful rig.
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Robert Ashby

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Great, thanks very much for the quick responses.

So I currently have 36 GB free on the SSD, keeping it as free as possible. Catalog is currently 1.5GB.

Will it be better to just get a big 500GB SSD or maybe if I just buy another 120/250GB could I use it alongside the old one somehow (to save a little bit of money)? 

I will look to upgrade the Ram also - is there an easy way to test how much is being used in task manager?

It is definitely when I change a lot of location data that it really starts to slow. 

Thanks again for the responses.
Rob
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Jack Klaber

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36GB on a 120GB SSD is sufficient for now. Also for now 8GB RAM is enough for fast responsiveness.
In your case I would start looking in other directions.
Have you repaired and optimized your PSE catalog?
Is your Windows system healthy?
Put your Windows system in “clean install mode” and check if this solves your slowness.
(Edited)
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Jack Klaber

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Sorry for not reading your question correctly. I never use PSE (I have PSE13) Places or People tabs, so I really never checked it for responsiveness. 
Your question made me chose the Places tab and behold, it became incredibly slow (having at least 30.000 images with GPS data) until all the Places icons were displayed on the Google map.
It seems there is not much you can do about this as an enormous amount of data has to be read, transferred and processed and shown on the map. Even a fast I7 CPU (which I have....) and a powerful graphics card (which I have....) cannot do this fast enough to enjoy some responsiveness.
I do not know if the GPS data is part of the PSE database inside the catalog. If it isn't then for each image the data has to be fetched from the file itself on the HDD and that takes time!!! Even if the GPS data is part of the catalog SQL database, the amount is enormous and the PSE needs to access, read, process and display it.
When the Metadata of the Information panel is chosen, the same slugginess can be observed as choosing the Places option. It takes some time until the slugginess is gone and then displaying Metadata becomes fast, albeit with high CPU and Memory usage.
Just displaying the place-icons on my system on the map of a certain area takes a long time and I noticed that the CPU and Memory requirements jumped up: CPU up to 96% and Memory to 90%. This means that even the most powerful processor and a generous amount of RAM does not solve the slowness when Places is chosen.
I come to the conclusion that the PSE Places for thousands of images is just a slow process that cannot easily be improved. 
Like to hear from others if they have a different experience using the Places option.
(Edited)
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Robert Ashby

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So I have repaired (no issues but I did re-index) and optimised my catalog. It definitely seems to have helped. It is still a little slow when viewing in places (I can cope with that with no issues) but the speed when making changes within places is still a big problem (basically becomes stationary). I am on Windows 7 currently.

My original gut was that the WD green struggled to write new info to the files and read the location information on the files at the same time. However, I have gone with my gut before and been completely wrong! 

Thanks for the continued input.
(Edited)
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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I don't use the 'places' feature regularly. I only use my own custom hierarchy of media keywords. I wonder if there is not another factor in your case. Since the feature is totally dependent on Google Maps, you need a very good Internet connection.
I don't have an SSD and only an I3 processor with 8 GB RAM. I have absolutely no complaints about speed, even with 32 MB raw files. The key is that I don't use people recognition.
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Robert Ashby

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True my internet speed isn't the best but it should be good enough. But it might be interesting to try google photos and see if it has the same issues.

I do use face recognition and but that only runs when I first add photos to elements. Could it still be an issue after it has finished?

Ah, why are these things never easy....!
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Jack Klaber

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I have a sustained thruput of 90 Mbps Internet Connection, but that did not improve the sluggish display when choosing Places.
I use Face Recognition extensively and apart from a big Breeze folder inside the catalog folder no responsiveness problems encountered.
Hope this helps.
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Jack Klaber

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As I mentioned before, I do not use Places or People mode. I use the Face recognition feature to tag fast and effectively people in my pictures without having to scroll thru hundreds of people tags. If PSE cannot identify the person, it's enough to type the first letter of the name and PSE will show you all names starting with that letter.
I also do not use the Places tag as generated by PSE Places mode. I'm not interested in having for every image a district and street address tag. I manually make location tags of country and town (as was the standard way of doing things in PSE versions before version 12). I do not need any finer resolution.

I've tried now for a short while the Places mode to move a few images as a test on the map. It simply did not work (maybe I had to wait a little more time....).
So I cannot tell you how it should work inside PSE.
I do use Geotagging but not with PSE. For Geotagging I use "GEOSETTER" which allows to set also the direction of the picture and the exact location in a speedy manner. It has very advanced features which I do not use. Check it out: http://www.geosetter.de/en/
When I have set and tuned all geodata using Geosetter, PSE Places mode shows the location on the images in a speedy manner, but the PSE display is not nearly as informative as inside Geosetter.
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Robert Ashby

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Great call! I actually have Geosetter installed but never used it as I trialed elements around the same time. However, I have just had a play with it and it is much better and user friendly for what I want to do like you say. 

A new work flow rather than spending more money! Thanks for all the help Jack, it is much appreciated.
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Robert Ashby

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Thanks again for your help Jack it is proving to be a big time saver.

However, I do have a quick question about Geosetter if you don't mind.

When I change the location and save it clearly creates an updated copy with the original still in tact. Is the new file still the same quality or would I be better overwriting the existing file? If I should keep it as is it (creating the copy) should I keep the original or can I just delete it once i am happy the copy file is ok?

Thank you again
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Jack Klaber

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1. Geosetter writes it’s data only in the header where the EXIF fields are. The image itself will be untouched.
2. In the preferences you can choose to keep a copy of the original or only keep the updated file. Geosetter will warn you if it couldn’t write the EXIF data and successfully update the file. I’ve set to delete the original file and until this day not encountered one serious problem. My problem is political: Here in Israel many places are considered “Palestinian” and thus I need to manually change country and place names to less archaic ones.....
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Robert Ashby

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Perfect, thanks again for the help.

Just wish it could do the videos too!